Scheduled for September 28, 2019 is the Health Check-Up activity of residents of Tahanan Village, Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City. The activity will begin at 6AM and will end at 10AM and those who plan to avail of the services will have to go to the pool side of the village clubhouse where the village clinic is located at.
Currently offered is a package of services priced at P350 which includes good and bad cholesterol check, Triglycerides, Creatinine, SGOT, ECG, blood sugar count, total cholesterol count, BUN, Urice Acid, SGPT, CBC and urinalysis. All of those who intend to avail of the said services are advised to bring their own urine sample and ensure they fast for ten to twelve hours.
Other health services people can choose from are PSA, Hba1c, T3, T4, TSH and Na, K and Ci (electrolytes). There will also be a free computerized eye refraction service as well.
The results of the medical tests will be released on October 6 at the Tahanan Village clinic.
According to Century Club of Tahanan, Inc. president Florencia Umali, the office of Parañaque City Councilor Wahoo Sotto will provide free coffee while the office of Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez will provide free servings of arroz caldo with eggs.
The Health Check-Up activity on September 28 is a project of the Century Club of Tahanan, Inc. in coordination with the Tahanan Homeowners Association, Inc. (THA) which is in-charge of the venue.
A Tremendously Successful 2019 Linggo ng Kabataan in Barangay BF Homes by the BFSK
For the Barangay BF HomesSangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) is concerned, August 17, 2019 will be remembered for a long time as their 2019 Linggo ng Kabataan event held at the Phase 1 gym along Pilar Banzon street, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City turned out to be tremendously successful in terms of youth turnout and participation.
According to BFSK chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang (read my exclusive feature interview of her here), the turnout was bigger than the two hundred and fifty youths they anticipated. For a whole day, youths from around Barangay BF Homes (Masville, Sampaloc Site 1 and 2, Clinic Site, and others) engaged in lots of activities such as parlor games, group performances, Tagalog literary contest, the Trashionista competition (models wearing gowns made out of recycled materials) and more.
“The turnout and participation of youths to our Linggo ng Kabataan event went beyond our expectations. We targeted around two hundred fifty youths but by the time our initial count ended, it reached at two hundred and ninety-four. Then even more youths joined in pushing the count beyond the three hundred mark,” Tumang confirmed. “We are surprised and very delighted with the better than expected turnout.”
Filled with happiness, Tumang declared their Linggo ng Kabataan event a very successful one and no less than Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Rocel Espino expressed her admiration for the event (see below).
It should be noted that Tumang and the SK Kagawads Alma Galindo, Roselyn Regis, Jerry Dalmero, Kelly Haboc, Irene Juanico, Anne Gabrielle Corre and Stephanie Sebullen as well as their SK secretary Darrenz Fabros and SK treasurer Jefferson Ching worked long and hard on organizing the event from the decorations to the registration of youths and implementing the program of the day.
Engagement and Achievements
These youths posed for me.
Waiting for the registration to end and the program to start.
Youths about to start the Zumba activity.
Another batch of youths posed for me.
SK Kagawad Jerry Dalmero watches along with a group of youths.
Along the way, the youths also engaged with each other through socializing when they had their meals and breaks. Early in the day, I found time to approach some youths to get their perspective about the activities.
“I’m excited mainly for the parlor games,” said 16-year-old Hazel.
“The Trashionista looks exciting. I’m really curious as to how our fellow youths will prove their creativity on making gowns using recycled materials,” said Maria, also aged 16.
Another youth (age 18) I interviewed named Mark revealed that the socializing aspect interests him the most as he has always been excited to meet youths from other areas of the barangay through the BFSK’s organizing of events for them.
The activities include Palarong Pinoy which was composed of a variety of parlor games participated by teams and these games really dominated the day which gave the participants a lot of fun and socializing along the way.
Trashionista was a fashion show and pageant-like activity highlighting dresses and accessories made out of recycled materials emphasizing creativity, recycling and usability. The Tagalog literary contest of poetry emphasized the use of spoken Tagalog along with the participant’s creativity and ability to express himself/herself.
By the evening, as the final activities took place, it was pretty clear that the youths were enjoying the action and themselves. The Tagalog poetry contest drew a lot of cheers from the youth-dominated audience and I noticed that many youths were still energetic and excited even at around 9PM.
“When we planned the poetry contest, we never anticipated that it would generate a lot of interest from the youths. After making the formal announcement and starting the search for candidates, the response from the youths wanting to join in was overwhelming,” SK kagawad Jerry Dalmero said during my interview with him.
Ultimately, the achievements of youths – both individual and by groups – were acknowledged and awarded accordingly. The achievers per category are as follows:
Tula (Spoken Poetry)
1st place – John Paul Albiola
2nd place – Gia Fortes
3rd place – Francis Francisco
1st place – Francis Francisco
2nd place – Charlon Salazar
3rd place – Julie Betania
4th place – Leonel Rosales
1st place – Team Gray
2nd place – Team Blue
3rd place – Team Orange
BFSK praised by Barangay Kagawad Espino
Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Rocel Espino, who leads the barangay committee on education, graced the Linggo ng Kabataan event and stated she was really happy to see a large turnout of youths participating.
“I congratulate our Sangguniang Kabataan council for organizing this special event for our community’s youths and I am impressed to see the high turnout we have,” Kagawad Espino said on the stage. “I am so delighted to see so many youths who are not only attending but also are eager to make themselves heard.”
During my chat with her, Espino revealed it was very hard to reach out to the community youths and even harder to convince them to participate to events or activities meant for them. There were times that activities meant for youth empowerment got organized but attracted very few youth participants.
Furthermore, Espino announced that a youth seminar will be held for youths of Masville on August 31 at barangay hall. It will start from 8AM and last until 3PM. She also announced the “Proud to be Drug-Free” project with a school in Masville which will be a one-day event.
What is Linggo ng Kabataan?
For the newcomers and the readers from overseas reading this, Linggo ng Kabataan in English stands for Week of the Youth (or Youth Week for short). The celebration is not limited to the local community but in varied communities around the Philippines which have the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).
According to item letter A on Section 30 (Chapter VI) of Republic Act Number 10742 (Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015), every barangay, municipality, city and province shall conduct the annual Linggo ng Kabataan on the week where the 12th of August falls to coincide with the International Youth Day. The Sangguniang Kabataan, in the case of barangay, and the respective LYDC in cooperation with the Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan, in the case of municipality, city and province, shall take the lead in this observance.
Item letter B states: The observance of the Linggo ng Kabataan shall include the election of the counterparts of all local elective and appointive officials, as well as heads of national offices or agencies stationed or assigned in the territorial jurisdiction of the local government unit, among in-school and community youth residing in the local government concerned from ages thirteen (13) to seventeen (17). During said week, they shall hold office as boy and girl officials and shall perform such duties *and conduct such activities as may be provided in the ordinance enacted pursuant to this Chapter.
The Linggo ng Kabataan event in Barangay BF Homes was a special project of the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan supported by Barangay chairman Paolo Marquez. Unsurprisingly, the tremendous success of the event drew praise from the youth participants and already there are many who are hoping for another edition of it to happen.
We’ll find out in twenty-twenty.
Finally, here are scriptures from the Holy Bible that youths and all of you, my readers, will find uplifting.
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in the word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
1 Timothy 4: 12 (NKJV)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, and will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus
The City Government of Muntinlupa announced today that it has donated P2,000,000 to the Batanes Provincial Government for Itbayat’s rehabilitation after being struck by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake this past July. The donation was done through the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO).
City Councilor members Marissa Rongavilla, Alexson Diaz, Katy Boncayao, and DRRMO chief Erwin Alfonso represented Mayor Jaime Fresnedi in the official turn-over ceremony of the financial assistance to Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco on August 17.
The City Government claims that the financial aid to the Municipality of Itbayat, Batanes will be used to implement development projects in the town and construction of a housing project for the 268 affected families. Governor Cayco extended her utmost thanks to the City Government of Muntinlupa and Mayor Fresnedi for the assistance.
It is recalled that on July 27, a series of strong earthquakes jolted Itbayat town which caused damage to structures and leaving eight (8) people dead and dozens injured.
According to bulletins from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the town was hit by magnitudes 5.4, 5.9, 5.8 within hours of each other and several aftershocks. No tsunami alerts were issued.
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said that this initiative is the city’s share in helping our kababayans who are in need.
“In the spirit of bayanihan, the local government of Muntinlupa will continue to lend its hand to towns in the country needing assistance,” Fresnedi added.
Are you a senior citizen whose benefit under the national law was denied by a local business? Are you aware of the benefits for senior citizens under Republic Act Number 9994 (Full title:An Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens, further amending Republic Act No. 7432, As Amended, Otherwise Known As “an Act To Maximize The Contribution Of Senior Citizens To Nation Building, Grant Benefits And Special Privileges And For Other Purposes. Short title:Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010) whenever you purchase food and/or beverage in a restaurant?
Why did I ask you these questions and mentioned RA 9994? It’s quite simple – a senior citizen in BF Homes, Parañaque City filed a formal complaint against a certain food joint which refused to grant him his exemption from the 12% Value-Added Tax (VAT) when he dined at the said joint.
Here is the story with details from documents I acquired.
On June 10, 2019, Jose Luis Matti and his daughter dined at a restaurant (clue: a burger joint whose business name will be revealed in due time) along Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City. He ordered food and drinks and, under law, the discounts are limited only to food and drinks he ordered for his consumption as he is a senior citizen
The problem was that, according to Matti, the restaurant applied the 20% discount for senior citizens and yet denied him his mandated benefit of exemption from the VAT. In his June 17, 2019 letter addressed to restaurant’s owner, Matti said that the restaurant personnel he encountered on June 10 claimed they were instructed (by the owner) not to give him the 12% VAT exemption. Photocopies of the receipts were included on the said letter.
As a result, Matti filed a formal complaint against the restaurant at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs of Parañaque City (OSCA-Parañaque) urging officer-in-charge Dante Pacheco to take action against the food joint (as per his July 12, 2019 letter to Pacheco received by the said office).
A hearing between Matti and the food joint’s owner will happen very soon at OSCA’s office at Parañaque City Hall.
I visited the restaurant along Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes to try to meet the owner and get feedback directly from him but the personnel told me over the counter that their boss was out of town.
Understanding the legal aspect
It is stated under RA 9994 (Rule IV, Article 7) that senior citizens shall be entitled to the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount and to an exemption from the value-added tax (VAT), IF APPLICABLE, on the sale of the goods and services covered by Section 1 to 6 of this Article, from all establishments for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of senior citizens.
Section 3 (Rule IV, Article 7) includes restaurants, hotels, recreational centers, places of leisures and funeral services with regards to the above mentioned 20% discount and VAT exemption.
Item b (under Section 3, Rule IV, Article 7) focuses on restaurants. It states that the discount shall be for the purchase of food, drinks, dessert, and other consumable items served by the establishments offered for the consumption of the general public.
Item c states for Dine-in services under paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 3, and Section 4, paragraph 2 of Article 7,the privilege must be personally availed of by the senior citizen as defined under these Rules, and no proxies or authorization in favor of another person who is not a senior citizen will be honored.
Item e states Food, drinks and other consumable items provided in Section 3 (a) and (b), and Section 4, paragraph 2 of Article 7 purchased by the senior citizen shall be processed separately as an independent transaction from his/her non-eligible companions to ensure that it is his/her exclusive consumption and to enable computation of the 20% discount and the exemption from the Value Added Tax (VAT), which only the senior citizen is entitled to.
However, if the group of diners is composed entirely of senior citizens, all of whom present valid senior citizens IDs, each shall be entitled to a 20% discount and exemption from Value Added Tax.
This is an ongoing community development and if any breakthroughs happen, an update will be posted.
The hearing between Mr. Matti and the restaurant at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs of Parañaque City (OSCA-Parañaque) at City Hall scheduled for August 20, 2019 did not push through due to the absence of the restaurant owner.
As such, the hearing will have to be rescheduled.
The restaurant accused in this conflict is Big Brat Burger.
Nikko Huelgas, who is a 2-time gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in the multisport of triathlon, achieved something just several hours ago. It’s not another victory in a race but rather it was his speech delivered to a live audience during the 2019 USANA Live Global Convention held at the Salt Palace Center in Utah, the United States.
Here are the details…
Nikko told me that his speech lasted around three minutes. The presentation was lively as his image was magnified by the organizers complete with his name prominently displayed for everyone to see.
“I simply shared a 3-minute speech about my journey as a SEA Games champion to becoming the Chairman of the POC Athletes Commission,” he said. “So I shared that for a bit and shared the inevitable struggles of a pro athlete that is comparable to that of a USANA Associate.”
This is not the first time that the BF International, Las Piñas City resident delivered a speech. A few years ago, he spoke in front of many students at his old high school Elizabeth Seton School in BF Resort Village, Las Piñas City which inspired them.
Furthermore, Nikko attended the convention representing the Philippines and he carries a convention badge which identifies him as an USANA Athlete.
What is the convention about? According to the organizers, their event is described as the only place attendees can interact in real-time with world-class trainers, get a front-row seat to industry-changing announcements, interact with USANA management team members, shop for products in a massive store, immerse themselves at the interactive expo and be celebrated on the awards stage.
Watch for more about Nikko Huelgas and triathlon-related stuff here.
Burgers have long been popular here in the Philippines and they can be bought from several makers like the fast food joints which are quite numerous.
At the expanded area of Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Union Jack Tavern has been selling and serving burgers to customers. Just open the menu when you visit them and then you will find the UJT Burger.
Sold for less than P300 as of this writing, the UJT Burger comes with a large plate filled with fries (which are thicker and less greasy compared to the fries sold by others) and the open sandwich with one half of the bun with the vegetables on top and the other half with the onions and beef covered with melted cheese.
In my recent stop at Union Jack Tavern, I had the UJT Burger and I started first with the fries which are quite filling and I like the fact that they are not too greasy to handle.
With the burger itself, considering the size, I took me a little effort to put the two buns (with their respective toppings) on top of each other to form the burger.
Then I took a bite on what parts are suitable for biting because this one is not the usual burger. The burger patty itself is quite thick and certainly not flat. After biting down the bread with the vegetables, I finally got to bite the cheese-covered burger patty. The result? The burger patty was quite tasty on its own and definitely worth going for. Then there is also that nice taste when biting the bread, the burger patty, the cheese and the vegetables altogether.
It may not be too visible for those who like burgers but failed to check Union Jack Tavern’s menu, but there is no doubt that the UJT Burger is a delicious and filling burger meal just waiting to be discovered.
The UJT Burger is highly recommended and I encourage you visit Union Jack Tavern at Festival Mall.
On August 6, Department of Health (DOH) secretary Francisco Duque II declared a National Dengue Epidemic in relation to the 146,062 cases recorded (January to July 20) this year here in the Philippines.
Duque revealed that the reported cases are almost 100% higher than compared to the same period in 2018. The total number of deaths recorded this year is now at 622.
The declaration was the result of a full council meeting at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) that took place at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
In South Metro Manila, the City Government of Las Piñas responded to the declaration by informing their constituents to be prepared and vigilant of dengue. Mayor Imelda Aguilar and her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery called on all city residents to be careful and strive to clean up their homes and spots of their local areas. The City Government confirmed that all health centers around the city have dengue testing kits and the testing itself will be done for free.
Now that a national dengue crisis has been confirmed, now is the time for people living and working here in the Philippines to find not only the most effective methods to protect themselves from the disease but also to help cure the people already suffering from it.
To put things in perspective, the term dengue refers to both the virus and the fever. Dengue virus is a mosquito-borne, single positive-stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae; genus Flavivirus.
Dengue fever is a harsh condition that includes symptoms of high fever, vomiting, pains on the muscle and joints, headache, pain behind the eyes, fatigue and skin rash. The time it takes for a sufferer to recover from it is two to seven days. However, there have been a small number of cases in which dengue fever becomes severe (referred to as dengue hemorrhagic fever). The symptoms for severe dengue include low blood platelets, bleeding and blood plasma leakage. There is also dengue shock syndrome which includes low blood pressure.
How to cure dengue? A scientist I met in Makati City told me it was papaya leaf juice.
For the newcomers reading this, the use of papaya leaf juice in treating dengue is not new. Rather it has been used for a long time in some areas of India and Southeast Asia. As dengue continues to spread and affect new victims around the world, it is expected that papaya leaf juice will grow in terms of demand.
To put things perspective, let’s start with the health benefits that papaya leaves carry. The leaf of the papaya contains a large amount of enzymes that include papain and chymopapain. These aid digestion and prevent bloating as well as digestive disorders. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, papaya leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and B while the specific minerals are iron, sodium magnesium, calcium and magnesium. The papaya leaf juice also comes with a compound that help with blood clotting and restricting internal bleeding.
Dr. Sheela Krishnaswamy, a nutritionist based in Bangalore, stated that certain studies “have shown that papaya leaf juice contributes significantly in the production of platelets.”
According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, 30 ml of fresh papaya leaf juice helps in increasing the blood platelet count which is crucial in treating dengue.
A team of chemical engineers in the Food and Pharmaceutical Engineering Group at the university are working on extracting carpaine (a bioactive compound) for use in the form of a pill. Because dengue is a huge health problem as the Aedes mosquito population grows, Associate Professor Dr. Ching Lik Hii (who leads the research at UNMC) got inspired to come up with methods to make the herbal remedy easier to process and consume.
Even as there are skeptics about papaya leaf juice as a cure for dengue, the confirmed results so far showed signs of effectiveness on the blood platelet count which itself is an important indicator on the patient’s health status while suffering dengue fever. In addition, papaya leaves
For the meantime, it would be helpful to convince local authorities (especially those who work in health and in government) to at least take a look at research of papaya leaf juice as an option for curing dengue. It is also timely right now that we should examine our nation’s harvest of the papaya trees with stronger focus on growing the leaves.
Do you see a papaya tree near you? Do NOT burn it and do NOT cut it down. Its leaves can be crucial to helping your nation deal with the ongoing dengue crisis. If you know someone who is suffering from dengue fever, then it is crucial to buy many papaya leaves and convert them into liquid form for drinking!
As the Philippines has a dengue crisis to deal, now is the time to contact your barangay (community government) officials, the city government officials, the provincial government officials (for those living in the provinces), the members of the House of Representatives and the Senators to encourage them to explore (if not utilize) papaya leaf juice as an option to treat dengue sufferers.